Stories

DKA & IBA put knowledge into action

Apr 13, 2018

Services: Desert Leadership, Desert Knowledge Precinct

Indigenous Business Australia visit Alice Springs to discover the opportunities for Central Australian businesses

Indige­nous Busi­ness Aus­tralia (IBA) staff and nom­i­nee direc­tors trav­elled to Cen­tral Aus­tralia for two days of knowl­edge expe­ri­ences, pan­el dis­cus­sions and col­lab­o­ra­tive work­shops facil­i­tat­ed by DKA. They had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to deep­en their appre­ci­a­tion of Indige­nous cul­ture and gain an insight into the social and eco­nom­ic land­scape of Cen­tral Australia. 

Our guests had the rare and valu­able oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence a tour of the town’s sacred sites led by Arrernte Elders Peter Coco’ Wal­lace and Bene­dict Stevens, who shared local dream­ing sto­ries and their expe­ri­ences of life on Arrernte country. 

While it’s pos­si­ble to pur­chase authen­tic made clap­sticks, Arrernte man and Clap­stick Talk­ing Tours own­er-oper­a­tor Ken Lech­leit­ner believes that in craft­ing the clap­sticks your­self, you gain a deep­er appre­ci­a­tion for the knowl­edge and phys­i­cal efforts that pro­duce the objects. In this work­shop, par­tic­i­pants began with long pieces of mul­ga wood, then grad­u­al­ly stripped, whit­tled, sand­ed and treat­ed the wood until they had craft­ed two indi­vid­u­alised clap­sticks. While they worked, the par­tic­i­pants talked with Ken about cul­ture and coun­try, which Ken says is a tra­di­tion­al way of learn­ing in Arrernte cul­ture – work­ing while sit­ting at the feet of Elders and lis­ten­ing to their sto­ries and wis­dom. The guests’ hand­made clap­sticks gave them a last­ing reminder of the knowl­edge gained in Alice Springs. 

Cen­tral Aus­tralia is an unusu­al busi­ness envi­ron­ment to oper­ate with­in. After pro­vid­ing a tasty lunch made from local, sea­son­al pro­duce and bush­foods, Kungkas Can Cook own­er Rayleen Brown shared the sto­ry of her busi­ness. In addi­tion to the lessons that all busi­ness own­ers must learn, as an Indige­nous woman Rayleen faced unique chal­lenges, but also seized unusu­al oppor­tu­ni­ties. Rayleen has a strong rela­tion­ship with women from the com­mu­ni­ties sur­round­ing Alice Springs, who assist her in har­vest­ing bush­foods. Rayleen is com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing sup­port and oppor­tu­ni­ties to these women through her business. 

Back at the Desert Knowl­edge Precinct, DKA host­ed a pan­el of local lead­ers who shared first hand expe­ri­ences of the eco­nom­ic and social oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges in Cen­tral Aus­tralia. Pan­el mem­bers includ­ed Cliff Weeks (Depart­ment of the Chief Min­is­ter), Jennes (Jay) Walk­er (Indus­try Capa­bil­i­ty Net­work), Casey Green­tree (Depart­ment of the Prime Min­is­ter & Cab­i­net), Don­na Ah Chee (Cen­tral Aus­tralian Abo­rig­i­nal Con­gress) and Michael Lid­dle (DKA). The learn­ings pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty for IBA to con­sid­er inno­v­a­tive and effec­tive solu­tions that will sup­port growth in our region.

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